Born 1934, Lawton, Oklahoma, USA
A.B., 1958, University of New Mexico
M.S., 1960, Stanford University
Ph.D., 1963, Stanford University
N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa-Cherokee, is well-known as a writer, as was his mother, but like his father. N. Scott Momaday was born in Lawton, but grew up on the Navajo Reservation. Mr. Momaday works as a visual artist as well. His novel House Made of Dawn won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1969 His novel House Made of Dawn led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream. Momaday's writings are greatly influenced by oral tradition. He is professor of English at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the University of Arizona where he was Regents Professor of the Humanities.
He continued to win numerous awards, including the Academy of American Poets Prize in 1962, the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966/67, a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant in 1970, and he is the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the renowned Kiowa Gourd Dance Society. In 1992 Momaday was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. In November 2007 he was one of nine recipients of the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony. He is a founding trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian and a consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. He sits on the Boards of First Nations Development Institute and the School of American Research.
He has garnered critical acclaim for his focus on Kiowa traditions, customs and beliefs, and is also recognized as one of the most successful contemporary Native American literary figures. As a visual artist, Momaday is also a renowned painter and has illustrated several of his own books, including a limited edition volume.